On Gilbert Arenas (again), and John Wall & The Larry O'Brien Trophy | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

On Gilbert Arenas (again), and John Wall & The Larry O’Brien Trophy

Updated: October 14, 2010

{photo: A. McGinnis, TAI}

[Gilbert Arenas gets some gum/candy for Lester Hudson. Watch out Lester! Tony Kornheiser says that candy could be POISON!]

Bullet Point Thoughts on Gilly …

  • So that Gilbert guy … you know what he did and you know he has been punished for it in the form of a fine (and likely old man giddiness via Tony Kornheiser … I bet old Tony popped a Viagra and everything when he heard Arenas lied to his coach).
  • In fact, there are a lot of blowhards diddling themselves over Gilbert today. They were just waiting for him to slip up and now they’ve got coitus interruptus all over their keyboards and microphones. Steinberg over at the DC Sports Bog aptly addresses the rhetoric of John Feinstein, Kornheiser and Skip Bayless.
  • Might as well add Kevin Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner in the mix. He writes (among other things):

“Tuesday’s revelation that he lied to coach Flip Saunders about a knee injury in order to give playing time to Nick Young was yet another example of Arenas — in attention-deficit syndrome mode — being desperate to steal the spotlight from John Wall, who was well-received by fans as the star of the Wizards’ preseason home opener.

Undermining authority? Making the organization look bad? Poisoning relationships? The Wizards and Arenas have been there before. Ask Eddie Jordan or Caron Butler.”

  • Good that Dunleavy remembers Butler … because I do too. I remember the time Butler ignored Flip Saunders’ drawn up play to call his own number instead on a last second shot against the Dallas Mavericks with the game on the line. This resulted in Caron getting blocked by Shawn Marion. Game over, Wizards loss. Caron’s answer: “Unfortunately it is what it is.”
  • And that incident seemed to piss off Flip Saunders a lot more than this latest one with Gilbert Arenas. So what’s worse … ignoring the coach or lying to the coach?
  • Well, it all depends on the situation. They’re both pretty bad. And sure, I’m compartmentalizing these two incidents. Caron didn’t get vilified by the media for a similar act of transgression because he has a different locker room pedigree than Gilbert. We get it.
  • But I think what Caron did was a good deal worse … if you’re just comparing those two incidents.
  • Also, I was one of the maybe four members of the media who interviewed Arenas after Tuesday night’s game … he wasn’t “desperate to steal the spotlight.” If that were the case, he would have sat in his locker and just waited until the hoards of media (who were in the press conference room shedding their attention upon John Wall) entered the locker room before speaking.
  • Nope. Gilbert was asked about Nick Young’s comments that Gil spoke to him about “sacrifice” and Arenas just gave an honest, matter-of-fact answer. Watch the video if you want.
  • On the other hand … Gilbert deserves all the media criticism coming to him. I don’t blame these blowhards for being blowhards, I blame them for their lack of creativity and perspective.
  • Actually, Gilbert’s biggest mistake was saying, “I messed up again, I’ll never do it again.” Umm…. {tugs at coller} … Never? Gilbert, you’re not leaving yourself too much leeway. You know and we know your mouth will get you in trouble again.
  • Which, is why I’m shrugging my shoulders at this. I’m seeing it as a single incident. Mike Wise had a good column on Gilly in today’s Washington Post. Go read it all, but here’s the part relevant to what I’m talking about:

“What, you wanted him to be the morose, bearded, sullen guy who showed up at media day like Joaquin Phoenix once showed up on David Letterman? How depressing.

You honestly thought the man was going to go an entire season being a model employee? You believed Mr. Mischief would not put his foot in his mouth about something before April?

Ha. He couldn’t even get out of the pre-season without incurring people’s wrath, without being judged and told to leave Washington for a fresh start.”

  • Gilbert saying something stupid was inevitable. And that’s okay. What it means is that we should not get bent out of shape because he sat out of a preseason game (AN F-ING PRESEASON GAME!) in the spirit of helping out another teammate.
  • In the big picture, I think Arenas has learned a lesson in (via “last year”), but that he’s still learning how to be more careful with his mouth and the media. Oh the horror.
  • But by all means, media monster, feel free to treat him like he’s ripping the heads off of endangered baby tiger cubs. He’s the “worst person in the world,” right Kornheiser?
  • Also, it’s really an insult toward John Wall to think that he will be influenced by Arenas. Wall’s maturity for his age is indescribable. He’s above any negative influence from Arenas.
  • Some people (Feinstein) think Arenas should have been suspended for five games. I’m sure Flip Saunders sends Feinstein’s micro-management wishes a big thanks.

“It’s just like dealing with your kids, when your kids make mistakes, what you do is you deal with them. It doesn’t mean you love them any less. You deal with the mistake and you move on. We’ve dealt with the issue. The issue is done and we move forward.”

  • Finally …
  • Gilbert needs to be MUCH more careful. He knows this. We all know this. YOU HAVE NO SLACK … YOU’RE GILBERT ARENAS! That being said, keep being yourself, please … just yourself with more tact, and less childlike.
  • And here I am again … producing more pixels and feeding the algorithm … surely making some people think that I’m only here to defend Mr. Arenas. Well, you’re wrong. I’ve criticized him plenty of times before. I just don’t think this specific incident warrants such an uproar, even considering Arenas’ past.
  • Well, at least in my opinion.
  • You CANNOT lie to your coach … Under. Any. Circumstance. Gilbert was wrong for what he did. Get over it.

Antawn Jamison’s Reminder For John Wall

Maybe you remember, maybe you don’t … but Antawn Jamison kept a framed picture of the Larry O’Brien Trophy in his locker … guess that’s why he asked for a trade.

Well, that framed photo continued to stay in the back of that same locker when Shaun Livingston took over the old captain’s spot near the training room last season.

And I wrote the other night that John Wall now inhabits that locker of significant, relevant placement. So guess what? That same framed picture of the Larry O’Brien Trophy is still there.

So, it’s either a ‘Hey John Wall, look at this goal right here’ from the team, or it’s simply a load-bearing picture frame.

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.